LTO implements license plates standardization

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Monday, February 17, 2014


THE regional office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has fully implemented its Motor Vehicle License Plates Standardization Program in Davao Region last February 1 in its efforts to create uniformity in license plates and step up security of vehicle owners.

LTO assistant regional director Macario D. Gonzaga, who guested in Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Annex on Monday, said the program is covered by Memorandum Circular No. VPT-2013-1772 issued by the LTO national office.

"The idea behind the program came up after it was observed that there was no uniformity of license plates in the country," he said, adding that since 1981, there has already been nine license plates of various designs in the country.

According to the LTO, the various designs makes it difficult for the agency to identify properly which plates are genuine or fake.

With the prolifieration of dilapidated or illegible plates and the practice of not replacing lost license plates also triggered the implementation of the program.

For the standardization program, new private and for hire motor vehicles will have license plates bearing three letters and four numeric symbols, motorcycles will have license plates bearing two letter and five numeric symbols, and diplomatic vehicles will be provided with plates bearing five numeric symbols.

"Since motor vehicles are assigned permanently with a license plate number during its lifetime, those assigned with one will still be using the plate number series assigned to them," Gonzaga said.

However, they will be replacing the existing plates with the new uniform designs, which will be issued to the vehicle owner within 45 days from the date of renewal of registration and after surrender of the existing plates and payment of fees.

Gonzaga also said that those with commemorative plates are not exempted from the program. He said that since January 31, all commemorative plates will not be recognized by the agency and they have ordered their personnel to apprehend those who have commemorative plates.

The new plates are also incorporated with security features that are aimed to promptly identify counterfeit plates, to aid law enforcement and improve the motor vehicle registration database, and to stop the proliferation of dilapidated and illegible plates and the prevalent practice of not replacing lost license plates.

"Standardizing our license plates is reasonable and intended wholly to increase the security of our motor vehicles for the benefit of our vehicle owners," Gonzaga said.

He said the agency sees the program as a way of responding against the issue of carnapping and to contain the crimes committed by riding tandems.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 18, 2014.

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